SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCING POVERTY – Reducing Child Stunting

Subli

IF I WERE THE NEXT PRESIDENT(Part 5 of a series)

By BEN R. PUNONGBAYAN

Founder, Buklod National Political Party

A heartbreaking face of poverty is the present-day preponderance of undernutrition of Filipino young children.

The leading single measure of this undernutrition, or malnutrition generally, is stunting—the health condition of children under five years old of having a height shorter, as defined, than the median of a reference population, which in our case is the Philippine population. Stunting is associated with the consequences of malnutrition, including brain underdevelopment.

The consequences of stunting are devastating—poor performance in school and low productivity as adults. The gravity of this health condition is further illustrated in a recent World Bank report on undernutrition in the Philippines. The report states that normal height growth and brain development not achieved during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life from conception (about two years…

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